Where to get boxes
There are many places where you can get boxes. The cheapest way is probably asking your local supermarket (or in some cases, schools) if they have any boxes you can have. It might be a good idea to explain to them that you are moving and require these boxes for packing. Otherwise, you can also purchase some boxes from your local hardware store – these come neatly packaged so they are easier to transport. You can also ask around to see if anyone has any spare boxes lying around (especially if they are someone that often shops online).
- Surface Mail – Cheapest, but slowest (2-3 months)
- Economy Air (SAL) – Cheaper than Airmail, faster than surface mail (just about a week slower than Airmail)
- Airmail – Most expensive and fastest.
Things to keep in mind
- Parcel size limits differ by country.
- The contents of your parcel may need to be inspected prior to shipping so it’s a good idea to take your box unsealed, have it inspected (if required) and seal it there before sending.
- Keep an inventory list of what you’re sending (by box) for your own records as well as insurance/security purposes. While it is tedious, it is overall worth it, especially if you have to produce this list for security purposes.
- It may help to label your box as ”Used things for personal use” to avoid incurring commercial shipping costs (applicable for some countries)
JP Post is probably the cheapest and most convenient way of sending things home – if you don’t have many boxes of things to send home. If you have lots of things to send home, it may be cheaper to use a private shipping company (such as Kuroneko, below).
The JP Post website is also great for more info on how to ship things home (some great advice can be found here!). It is in English, so be sure to check it out.
Yamato Transport (Kuroneko)
Yamato Transport, also know as Kuroneko, is one of many private shipping companies in Japan. They are great for sending stuff home, especially if you have a lot of things. They also provide a service where they can pick up your stuff from your house (of course, this may cost extra). Check out their website for more information – it is available in English and is quite helpful.
Also check out their ”How to Send a Parcel” for great tips and information on sending things home.
Kuroneko is pretty good for shipping bikes (abroad or within Japan) but according to Akita AJET, it may be better to fly with your bike instead since you can store more oddly shaped things in the same bag/package.
Sending books or other printed materials home
You should use the ”M-bag Printed Materials Package” method to ship these home as it is the cheapest way to send books and stuff home (according to Akita AJET – please see their site for more details).
Akita AJET Page
The Akita AJET page for ”Shipping items home” is a very detailed and helpful source to find out all you can about sending things home. A lot of the information that we have here can also be found on their page. We definitely recommend checking out!